Hong Kong Visas Made Easy


Feb 2018

How Can an Overseas Company Temporarily Sponsor Hong Kong Employment Visa Permissions?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 2 responses

A frequently experienced conundrum.


How can a foreign company temporarily sponsor Hong Kong employment visa permissions for its employees and contractors who need to work here in pursuit of a commercial arrangement which is of an indefinite or fixed duration here?


How can one visit and deliver short-term (typically 1-5 days duration) training courses in Hong Kong on behalf of an international training company headquartered in New York and which has a local office in Hong Kong.

The training would be delivered course-by-course under an ‘umbrella’ contract with the Hong Kong company i.e. no direct employee relationship, on an episodic basis to the Hong Kong office through an overseas Limited Company in South Africa  whilst travelling on a South African Passport.

What visa and application process would be applicable? It seems that different countries tend to treat this quite differently with some granting a business visa on written request from the host company, or in other cases allow this type of activity under a short-term waiver e.g. Singapore.

I am sure this must be a common situation, but I can’t see how this can be handled. Hong Kong Business Visas appear to stipulate you can’t work or provide a service or am I misreading the intention?  I hope that I have provided enough detail and it is succinct enough.

Thanks very much in advance and looking forward to your reply.

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Can I study then get married all the while holding an employment visa sponsored by a company I no longer work for?

Is it ever OK to work in Hong Kong on a visitor visa?


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Feb 2018

Do You Need a Hong Kong Employment Visa if You Work For a Hong Kong Company But Not in Hong Kong?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 4 responses

Do the Hong Kong Immigration Department expect every foreign national employee of Hong Kong registered companies to have employment visas even if they have never worked (or never will work) in the HKSAR?



Is there any problem with a Hong Kong registered company employing someone currently resident in Malaysia for a role supporting one of our clients offices in Malaysia? 

I don’t think a Hong Kong employment visa is required because he won’t work here and in the short term at least he can work in Malaysia on a visitor visa as long as he is employed offshore.

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Feb 2018

Will I Still Qualify for the Right of Abode if I Worked Temporarily in Macau Yet Lived in Hong Kong for the Full 7 Years?

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Refusals & Appeals, Your Question Answered / 15 responses

I may be the middle of my NYC break but immigration stops for no man!

Just before I left, I received the following question in regards to a Right of Abode application – which required me also taking a look at her documents. I’m grateful for the questioner’s permission to include our dialogue here on the Visa Geeza blog.


Hi, I got your details through Phil Whelan on RTHK Radio 3.

I just had my PR refused by Immigration because I was not covered by a work visa the entire time I have resided in Hong Kong.

During this period I took employment in Macau twice but I never lived there, I traveled daily via the ferry to Macau and back.

So each time I returned (every day) I got another 90 day visitor visa.

I applied for my Hong Kong permanent identity card via the online process and submitted rental receipts, Hong Kong tax documents etc. I can show that during the last eight years I have lived here exclusively.

Do think I have any chance of an appeal? I can send an email copy of the refusal letter I received. I assume there is a time period where I must act to request an appeal.

Thanks for your advice.


Please email me a copy of your entire application and I’ll take a look and give you an opinion. Please include the copies of your correspondence with the HKID – send to: sbarnes [at] hkvisacentre [dot] com. Please also see this post.


Please find the attached copies of my PR application and supporting documents which I submitted online. The denial letter is attached separately.

I hope that you might find a good strategy for an appeal.

As I mentioned, I traveled to and from Macau daily for work and had proper Macau work permits (Blue Cards) twice but maintained my residence in Hong Kong.

I have many more supporting documents that prove my only residence during the eight year period I was in Hong Kong but was limited by the amount of supporting documentation upload slots (14 total I believe) available on the HKID website.

I have not contacted Mr. XXXX at HKID to confer, pose questions or ask for the appeal process pending some expert advice and consultation from someone like you.

I assume that there is a time period during which I must act if I wish to appeal.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.


Essentially, when you ceased holding an employment visa in Hong Kong to take up employment in Macau, you inadvertently abandoned your continuity of residence here notwithstanding the fact that you maintained your home in Hong Kong at all times.

Time spent on visitor status in Hong Kong within the 7 years will only count towards permanent residency if it was the only status available to you as an application for a new residence visa or an extension to your current residence visa is being considered by the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

The HKID will allow you a few weeks on visitor status ‘between jobs’ but where you have manifestly ‘moved on’ to another jurisdiction (and Macau is as far away as Manila is for Hong Kong immigration purposes) your place of ordinary residence has moved away from Hong Kong too.

In short, you need back-to-back residence visas all throughout the 7 years immediately prior to submitting your PHKID application, otherwise your application will fail.

You could appeal to the Registration of Persons Tribunal but I don’t believe you’d have much joy.

They would no doubt confirm that the HKID didn’t err in your application and then you’d have to litigate in the High Court to promote the contention that ‘ordinary residence’ in the context of a Right of Abode application, includes time spent in Hong Kong as a Visitor whilst you’re working in Macau holding a residence visa there.

You’d be surprised at how many people misunderstand the 7 year rule, so don’t feel too badly about it.


Thank you Stephen, for your thorough explanation.

I guess I’ll just have to wait another five years to apply again.

Please feel free to include my scenario on your website to inform others that they must have the work visas in place the entire seven year period.

That one sentence, if it were mentioned on the HKID website, would have stopped me from applying and wasting everyone’s time.

Thank you again.

More Related Stuff to Help You Along

What can be said to be ‘ordinary residence’ for the purposes of a Hong Kong right of abode application?

Will the 2 years I spent studying in China break my continuity of residence for my Hong Kong permanent residency application?

I have lived in Hong Kong for 5 years – can I extend my work visa for 2 years, quit my job, study full-time then apply for the right of abode?

Strategy on how to craft an argument to appeal a refused Hong Kong right of abode application

Hong Kong permanent residency approval with a 2 year absence from Hong Kong

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Feb 2018

Do You Need to Leave Hong Kong to ‘Activate’ Your Recently Secured Employment Visa Extension?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Investment Visas, Special Programmes, Your Question Answered / No responses

The answer to this question seemed so obvious to me before, but now it has been asked, I realize it’s not immediately obvious to everyone, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to address it now…



I have just recently had my employment visa successfully extended.  For 2 years. 

My passport has been updated with the new visa.

However, it didn’t occur to me at the time to ask if I need to “activate” this new extension by leaving the country before my previous visa expires, and re-entering on the new one. 

Indeed, if I do not do this would I be in breach of my previous visa time limit? 

Or is it straight forward, no trip outside the country required, and the new visa starts automatically?

I have not changed jobs, and my previous visa still has 3 weeks to go. 

All-in-all, a very straight forward extension.

Thanks in advance.

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Can I easily return to (and then remain in) Hong Kong as a visitor once my current employment visa has expired?

Redundancy – the process pitfalls of an expiring Hong Kong employment visa

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Jan 2018

Is It Ever OK to Work Full Time in Hong Kong Without An Employment Visa – For the Hong Kong Subsidiary of An Overseas Company?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Refusals & Appeals, Your Question Answered / 3 responses

Work full time in Hong Kong without an employment visa ? This is a bit of a hoary old chestnut this question but a really important one nonetheless so I am grateful to the questioner for posing it.



Hi there,

My Hong Kong employment visa application has just been refused. My company who are sponsoring me applied on my behalf.

Apparently it was the first visa for them to have been rejected. We are going through the appropriate channels to re-apply.

I was interviewed in Hong Kong for the position I am now holding, whilst in the USA. I am being paid in the USA, although my wages are being internally invoiced to Hong Kong (the company in the USA being the pay-master).

My question being: can I enter Hong Kong with a visitor visa, as a USA national, and be paid in the same manner though the USA?

Whilst of course waiting for the re-application of the visa to be completed.

Thanks for your advice. 

More Stuff to Help You Along

How to engage the Hong Kong Visa Centre if your immigration application has been refused

What happens if you overstay your Hong Kong visa limit of stay?

Will the Hong Kong Immigration Department tell you why a visitor visa application has been refused?

Sometimes large employers experience Hong Kong employment visa application refusals – why might this be so?

The merits of applying for the Reconsideration of a refused Hong Kong visa application


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Jan 2018

What Visa Options Exist For A Trailing Girlfriend Where There is No Possibility of a Hong Kong Defacto Spouse Visa?

Posted by / in Family Visas, Your Question Answered / No responses

The pickings are slim where there is no possibility of a Hong Kong defacto spouse visa (otherwise known as a prolonged visitor visa)…



I have looked over your website and found lots of good information.

However, I think I have a question that may not have been answered on the site.

I have been offered a job in Hong Kong and want to accept it and move there with my girlfriend.

She is from Turkey and is 30 years old.

I don’t think we will be able to apply for a Hong Kong defacto spouse visa as we have not lived together for long enough etc.

My question is: Do we basically need to get married?

Or is another option repeated visa runs on her part?

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What is the condition precedent for defacto spouse in securing a prolonged visitor visa for Hong Kong?


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Jan 2018

Is There Such An Animal As A ” Flexible Working Visa ” for Hong Kong?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 22 responses

Like the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster, I’ve heard mention of this mythical beast several times down the years, so I was really pleased when this question came in recently as it gives me an opportunity to slay a sacred cow or 2.



Is there a flexible work visa in Hong Kong?

Because we are going to employ someone from Australia, and he said he had a work visa sponsor. But he is free to work for anyone in Hong Kong.

But we need to give a service charge to his work sponsor.

Is there such visa arrangement in Hong Kong?

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